Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, have apparently taken to Lorde’s “Royals” lyrics by partially deciding “it don’t run in our blood.” According to reports, the royal family is none too pleased with that decision.
The popular royal couple announced they would “step back” from their roles as “senior” members of the royal family, according to a statement on their shared Instagram account. In the message directed at their more than 10 million followers, the couple said they planned to transition over the next year to a “progressive new role” within the royal family.
Buckingham Palace, on behalf of Queen Elizabeth, issued a statement later Wednesday. Some have interpreted the message as a subtle way of saying the message Wednesday was sent hastily, since the message refers to the process as “at an early stage.”
No member of the royal family has commented on the announcement, but royal correspondents familiar with the situation say the Queen and other members of the royal family are “hurt” by the move. BBC royal correspondent Jonny Dymond said Buckingham Palace was “blindsided” by the decision.
“It is very clear the palace is very upset about what has happened,” Dymond said in a BBC column Thursday.
Social media has also chimed in, referring to the prince and duchess transition as “Megxit.”
In addition to stepping down in their traditional roles, the couple and their son, Archie, will split their time between North America and the United Kingdom.
This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” — The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
The couple made history with their decision. It is the first time a member of the royal family will not be based in the U.K. Prince Harry is sixth in line to the throne behind his father Prince Charles, brother Prince William and William’s three children: George, Charlotte and Louis.
Prince Harry and Markle partially separating themselves from the royal family does not come as a surprise because both have reportedly been haggled by British tabloids and had challenging relations with the rest of the family.
People magazine reports that multiple insiders have noticed the divide between Prince William and his brother since Harry proposed to Markle two years ago. The elder prince warned his brother not to rush his courtship of the American actress. Since then, there have been rumors of contention among the entire family. During Christmas, Prince Harry, Markle and Archie spent “private family time in Canada” rather than with the royal family in Sandringham.
The couple has also been in the thick of a number of legal woes, suing U.K. media outlets for their reports of the family drama. In an interview with ITV, Markle touched on the frustrating experience as a pregnant wife and duchess living under the glare of media scrutiny.
“Any woman, especially when they’re pregnant, you’re really vulnerable, and so that was made really challenging,” Meghan told ITV journalist Tom Bradby about the stress of living in the spotlight during her pregnancy and following Archie’s birth. “And then when you have a newborn, you know. And especially as a woman, it’s a lot. So you add this on top of just trying to be a new mom or trying to be a newlywed . . . thank you for asking because not many people have asked if I’m OK.”
On Tuesday, the royal couple met with the Canada House in London, where it appeared things were royal business as usual.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.